Near-wellbore formation damage is expected during the drilling operations. Minimization, prevention, and removal of near-wellbore damage are essential to maximize well productivity. One of the major sources of skin damage is the residual filter cake developed by reservoir drill-in fluid (DIF). Therefore, an efficient filter cake cleanup method should be considered to enhance well productivity. Oil producers in sandstone reservoirs are being drilled with invert emulsion DIF during oil reservoir drilling. Standard completion of oil wells is with stand-alone screens. Although screens stabilize the wellbore and address sand control issues, it can also act as a trap for filter cake, resulting in high drawdown pressure. An in-situ acid-precursor technology, which generates organic acid, was proposed to be used. The prime advantage of this technology, especially in long horizontal wells, is the uniform distribution of acid during precursor to remove oil-based mud (OBM) filter cake by a single-stage. A special surfactant blend was incorporated in the cleanup fluid to alter the wettablity of the oily filter cake, and therefore, facilitate the reactivity of the produced acid with calcium carbonate particles. Detailed lab studies were conducted to evaluate the efficiency of the in-situ acid generator technology. The lab studies include various tests to evaluate filter cake removal efficiency, return permeability on real core samples, compatibility with formation fluids, and strength of dissolving calcium carbonate particles. Based on lab results, it was recommended to spot the single-stage filter cake cleanup fluid as a treatment for an oil well. This paper will discuss in detail the laboratory work that was conducted to evaluate the filter cake cleanup fluid performance.

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